The Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen. Tukur Buratai, on Wednesday lamented the ceiling placed on the budget of the Nigerian Army, begging members of the House of Representatives to intervene.
The Army chief specifically asked the House to prevail on the Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning to remove the ceiling because of the ongoing reforms in the Army.
Buratai made the call in Abuja on Wednesday while defending 2019 budget of the Army before the House Committee on Army.
He said: “The National Assembly should change the 40 per cent Second Instalment Payment for the purchase of three LUH AS-350 for the NA Aviation with the procurement of Armoured Personnel Carrier “A” vehicles.
“The National Assembly should prevail on the Ministry of Budget and National Planning to exempt the Nigerian Army from the existing budget ceiling or the envelope allocation system in view of the ongoing structural changes, volatile security environment and massive engagement of troops in the 36 states.
“Let me reiterate here that the Nigerian Army is committed to securing the territorial integrity of Nigeria from any violation, as the clearance operation to rid our country of the remnants of the Boko Haram terrorists and other criminal groups are on. A timely and complete implementation of the 2019 budget will thus enhance the fulfilment of this mandate.
“The Army was able to cope with the financial constraints due to the relative peaceful environment across the country prior to the re-emergence of insurgency and other hostile activities of violent non-state actors.”
The CAOS also disclosed that in response to the activities of violent non-state actors, the Army had expanded from five divisions to eight.
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“It is also pertinent to note that the Army has established the Nigerian Army Special Forces Command, Nigerian Army Cyber Warfare Command, Special Intelligence Command, Land Forces Simulation Centre and Nigerian Army Aviation.
“The commitments have extended our core constitutional role and have impacted significantly on our human and material assets. This is in addition to inadequate budget allocation and the subsisting envelope budget system”, he said.